Teacher’s Page

The O’Keeffe Installation

Designed by C. Helsley


In this lesson students will explore the life and art of Georgia O’Keeffe. The main focus will be on what kind of person she was, how she was influenced by and perceived the world around her and how we also can be influenced by the world around us and perceive it in new ways.

Performance Objectives

  • How do we use materials to make an artistic statement?
  • How does art represent personal expression, exploration, and/or insight?
  • How does art record and communicate the human experience?


The students will be able to describe the intellectual and emotional significance conveyed by the application of the elements of art and principles of design through investigating and analyzing the work of Georgia O’Keeffe. They will gain an understanding of the sensitivity O’Keeffe had of her surroundings and examine their own surroundings with a new perspective. They will come to conclusions of the character of O’Keeffe and relate this to some of their own uniqueness and the character traits they admire.


Scaffolding Knowledge

How was Georgia O’Keeffe influenced by her environment? How did she express this? Can we find new ways to perceive our own environment and express them?


Level Activities
Remembering In the initial steps of this activity the students will be investigating the life and work of O’Keeffe. They will be in the process of collecting information that defines and describes her as a person. These students have had docent presentations once a month since kindergarten. They will be recalling information on how presentations were made to them.
Understanding In their presentation they will have to discuss the life and intent of O’Keeffe as an artist. They will summarize her life, the main events and identify work that relates to significant parts of her life and where she lived.
Applying The students will be defining the character of O’Keeffe and select artwork that supports the events in her life they have chosen to present.
Analyzing In the pieces the students have to submit to the curators for the brochure, they are asked to compare and contrast artwork of O’Keeffe’s to other artists. They are asked to analyze and define the character of O’Keeffe.
Evaluating The students are designing and creating a presentation that is both visual and informative. They are taking the information from their journey and integrating it into a sequential presentation that explains O’Keeffe to us. They are organizing artwork of O’Keeffe’s and of their own in a way that supports their conclusions about her as a person and an artist.
Creating For the brochure assignments in each task, the students are asked to evaluate, criticize,  and judge their own work and the work of O’Keeffe


Multiple Intelligences

Intelligence Activities
Linguistic The “biographer” targets this intelligence. There are also tasks for all student roles to create a written piece for the brochure.
Logical-Mathematical The “artistic interpreter”  will be cropping and enlarging images and would enjoy the abstraction of O’Keeffe’s art. They might also enjoy discovering how O’Keeffe examined her world in minutia and might easily apply it to their own environment.
Musical Would enjoy looking into and adding appropriate music to the PowerPoint presentation
Bodily-Kinesthetic The person that selects to be the “artistic interpreter will be moving about the classroom and creating an actual project.
Spatial Many of the aspects of this project will appeal to this learner; the videos of O’Keeffe in the beginning steps, the amount of artwork available to them to examine, presenting and organizing the information in the PowerPoint, and the opportunity to create a project.
Interpersonal This person will enjoy bringing information to the group to make a cohesive presentation. They will like to present and teach others. They will most likely empathise with O’Keeffe  and her perspectives of her environment.
Intrapersonal Having the roles to work alone will entice this learner. They also have the opportunity to discover and examine the character traits of O’Keefe’s independent personality. There is also the mention of other artists including O’Keeffe’s husband on the conclusion page.
Naturalistic O’Keeffe will definitely appeal to this learner. They will enjoy her art and discovering how it related to the environment she was surrounded by at different times in her life.

Mind Styles

Concrete Sequential This will be the student most likely to pull all the pieces of the presentation together in a productive manner since they organize well and go through the details. The steps of the project are clear and the rubric is explanatory.
Concrete Random This student will appreciate O’Keeffe for being a person that had a different perspective. They will like the opportunity to arrange the presentation as layout artist or attempting the artist interpretation. They will enjoy learning how O’Keeffe brought small objects in her world to attention and enjoy trying this themselves.
Abstract Random This student will enjoy collaborating with the others to put the presentation together. They will like learning how O’Keeffe expressed her personal view of the world and about her character as an individual. They will enjoy the opportunity to express their own feelings through the roles of the layout artist or artistic interpreter and the poetry of the brochure piece.
Abstract Sequential O’Keeffe is an artist that was very prolific. There will be plenty of information for these students to explore. The information provided in the webquest is also very thorough for them. This lesson also provides these students with plenty of opportunities to compare and contrast and classify her work. They may also enjoy seeing how far O’Keeffe could take an object into abstraction.

Sense and Meaning

At this age in middle school, students are working to understand the relationships they are building and their roles in these relationships. They are also discovering their own unique characteristics. This lesson focuses on Georgia O’Keeffe, a woman that was extremely unique with great strength of character and sense of self. The lesson provides them the opportunity to examine what individuality can mean, and also to examine her character and make assessments if they would consider her a friend allowing them to draw conclusions on what characteristics are important to them in friendships.

Difficulty vs. Complexity

In this lesson, there is adequate time for the students to prepare their work. As noted in the “Accommodations” area, extra time can be given for students who are working well, but need more time because of different learning levels. The lesson allows students to work on the beginning levels of the Bloom’s Taxonomy at their own pace. As they progress through the project and get into their roles, they are asked to produce pieces that require them to use higher level thinking skills; compare and contrast, classify, relate, create, design, hypothesize, assess. This will  engage the frontal lobe and make connections that will aid in retention of new learning. This is reinforced in both the guided and independent learning stages.


Standards Addressed


Describe the intellectual and emotional significance conveyed by the application of the elements of art andprinciples of design in different historical eras and cultures.


Compare and contrast various masterworks of art from diverse cultures, and identify elements of the works that relate to specific cultural heritages.


Differentiate past and contemporary works of dance, music, theatre, and visual art that represent important ideas, issues, and events that are chronicled in the histories of diverse cultures.


Incorporate various art elements and the principles of balance, harmony, unity, emphasis, proportion, and rhythm/movement in the creation of two- and three- dimensional artworks, using a broad array of art media and art mediums to enhance the expression of creative ideas (e.g., perspective, implied space, illusionary depth, value, and pattern).


Apply various art mediaart mediums, technologies, and processes in the creation of allegorical, theme-based, two- and three-dimensional works of art, using tools and technologies that are appropriate to the theme and goals.


Identify genres of art (including realism, abstract/nonobjective art, and conceptual art) within various contexts using appropriate art vocabulary, and solve hands-on visual problems using a variety of genre styles.

1.3.8. D. 4

Delineate the thematic content of multicultural artworks, and plan, design, and execute multiple solutions to challenging visual arts problems, expressing similar thematic content.


Examine the characteristics, thematic content, and symbolism found in works of art from diverse cultural and historical eras, and use these visual statements as inspiration for original artworks.


Synthesize the physical properties, processes, and techniques for visual communication in multiple art media(including digital media), and apply this knowledge to the creation of original artworks.


Teacher Preparation


  • photo collage of O’Keeffe and her work


  • computers
  • paper/pencil/pen for note taking
  • MicrosoftWord PowerPoint
  • art paper
  • pencils/erasers
  • pastels and/or acrylic paints
  • camera and photo editing software (optional)

Key Terms


Lesson Outline

The teacher will bring the students to the computer lab to present the lesson.

The teacher will explain that they will be examining the life and art of the famous American artist Georgia O’Keeffe. Examples of her and her work can be shown as a photo collage on the Promethean board for motivation.

Teacher Instructional Process

The teacher will then have the students open the WebQuest and begin to guide them through the Introduction and task pages.

As students reach the process page the teacher should read aloud with them the essential questions on this page and then explain to them that they will be working together and individually to create their PPT presentation that can answer these questions.

What do you think inspired her to be an artist?

Where did she live throughout her life?

If she were your friend, what would you say you admired about her?

How was she influenced by the world outside her door?

Are there things outside your door that might influence you to create?

Guided Practice

As students are beginning the group activity of exploring the information provided on O’Keeffe, the teacher will walk around the class to be certain students are on task and taking notes. The teacher should prompt the students to reflect back on the questions that were asked at the beginning of the process page.

Independent Practice

As students begin their individual roles, the teacher will consult with the students to be certain they are on task and providing information that will be applicable in the slideshow. The teacher should prompt the students to refer to their rubric and answer any questions concerning their roles. The teacher should also review with the students the questions from the process page and ask how they are applying these questions.


When all the presentations are complete, the students will be asked to recall what they felt they learned that was important and/or interesting to them about O’Keeffe and/or themselves.

Alternate Outline – Accommodations

  • more time can be given to students that have IEP’s that designate this.
  • if there are not an accurate number of students to divide into three groups then a student can be added to a group but whatever role they chose, they should follow the same steps, but provide different information than the other person with the same role. The length of slides can be increased.
  • if students are working hard but moving slower, give them the flexibility of more time.

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